Orange native to be inducted into hall of fame
HARTFORD >> Army Capt. Kristen Griest, a native of Orange, will be one of three women to be inducted later this year into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.
The women have been the heroes of their own stories and in the lives of many others as well, according to a release.
The other inductees in November will be Connecticut State Police Maj. Regina Y. Rush-Kittle and Air Force Col. Ruth A. Lucas.
“Throughout history, women everywhere have heroically embarked upon ground-breaking pursuits,” the Hall of Fame said in a release.
“And, for nearly 25 years, the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame has been telling their stories.”
These three women have exemplified the words “protect and serve,” and motivated those around them, according to the release.
• Griest was the first female Army infantry officer and one of the first two women ever to graduate from Army Ranger School. Griest is a graduate of Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge.
• Rush-Kittle is a military and law enforcement trailblazer and highest-ranking African-American woman ever to serve in the Connecticut State Police. She grew up in Middletown and graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in political science.
She previously worked for the state Department of Correction and was the first African-American female officer at the Middletown Police Department.
• Lucas (1920-1970) was the first African-American woman to attain the rank of Air Force colonel and advocate for improved educational opportunities for service personnel.
A Stamford native, Lucas graduated from Tuskegee University in 1942, served in Japan in the 1950s and earned a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1957. She spent the rest of her career in Washington, D.C., where she held positions in education and research and broke multiple racial and gender barriers.
“Strong, courageous women have changed history,” said Kathryn Gloor, executive director of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.
“Our 2017 inductees are not only trailblazers in their chosen fields, but have willingly risked their lives to defend our country and our communities. We are grateful for their service, and honored to celebrate their heroic achievements this year.”
The 24th annual induction ceremony and celebration will be held 6-9 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Connecticut Convention Center.
In addition to its three inductees, the CWHF will honor 10 women who protect and serve communities through their own work. They will be announced in May.
The mission of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame is to honor the achievements of Connecticut women, preserve their stories, educate the public and inspire the continued achievements of women and girls, according to the release.
The organization was founded in 1994 in Hartford.